On December 18, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal indefinitely closed the Port Royal Bridge on Isle Madame.

HALIFAX: The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (DTIR) has confirmed the closure of a bridge on Isle Madame.

On December 18, the DTIR issued an advisory that Port Royal Bridge on Port Royal Road is closed until further notice. Traffic can detour on MacEachern Road.

Chasta Boudreau, the DTIR’s Eastern District bridge engineer, explained that the bridge was reduced to a five-tonne weight restriction back in 2010.

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“Unfortunately, the weight restriction was not always adhered to, and combined with other environmental factors, the condition of the bridge deteriorated,” Boudreau explained last week via e-mail. “Concerns with the current condition prompted the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to engage an engineering consultant to conduct a full inspection of the structure.”

Boudreau said the consultant’s report confirmed the DTIR’s decision to close the bridge last month.

“Because there is a detour option of less than one kilometre, and with winter conditions upon us, closing the bridge was deemed the best option until a decision is made regarding the future of the bridge,” she noted. “The short detour was determined to have minimal impact on the community and public. The safety of the public is the main priority.”

In November, Boudreau explained that a regular inspection “identified deterioration of the bridge foundations.” Although Boudreau said at the time there were no plans to undertake repairs, she said the DTIR was “keeping a close eye on the bridge” and was working on a proposal with Wood Research and Development Canada.

Boudreau added that no final decisions have been reached on the future of the span.

“We continue to work with the consultant regarding options moving forward. There have been no final decisions made at this time.”